KNOWN as the race the world stops to watch, viewing figures for the Grand National are estimated to top around 500 million every year.
Roughly 10m of those viewers come from the UK, where the marathon contest is unmatched as the number one bet on race year-after-year.
Both novice and seasoned punters alike enjoy a small bet on Grand National before watching the thrilling four-mile, two-and-a-half-length race pan out over the course of about 10 thrilling minutes. The beauty of the National is that everyone has their own tried-and-tested way of making selections.
The more experienced bettors will stick to the form guide, checking how runners have fared over course and distance and if they can challenge under their allocated weights. For those whose only bet of the year is on the National however, names of horses and the jockey’s silks are often the go-to.
While one’s favourite colour is often what attracts them tomake their selection, there are some silks that have a fine history in the sport or even in the Grand National itself. That said, read on as we take a look at some of the silks you should consider when looking at this year’s racecard.
The green and gold hoops of JP McManus
These colours are synonymous with jumps racing, as JP McManus is one of the most prolific owners in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The billionaire passed the 4000-winner mark last year and now has over 70 Cheltenham Festival successes to his name, making his green-and-gold-hooped silks unmistakable.
Amongst his laundry list of accomplishments are two Grand National triumphs, with trainer Jonjo O’Neill and the legendary AP McCoy delivering the Irishman’s first win in 2010 before the much-loved duo of Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore landed his second success with MinellaTimes in the unprecedented behind-closed-doors renewal in 2021.
Of course, McManus is well represented again this year. Any Second Now is his leading claim, coming in as third favourite in the betting at around 8/1, while Capodanno (25/1), Darasso(33/1) and The Shunter (40/1) are some of his longer priced horses at the time of writing.
The Gigginstown House Stud colours
Another high-profile Irish operation, Gigginstown House Stud has enjoyed immense success at Aintree in recent years —with Tiger Roll becoming the first horse to win back-to-back renewals of the Grand National for the first time since the legendary Red Rum achieved the incredible feat in 1973 and 1974.
Unfortunately, due to the cancellation of the 2020 renewal due to the coronavirus outbreak and what connections deemed to be an unfair weight in 2021, Tiger Roll never got the opportunity to join Red Rum as just the second the horse to win three Nationals or have a crack at becoming the first to win three times on the spin.
The burgundy silks with a large white star on the chest of Michael O’Leary’s operation are still well represented every year, with Delta Work finishing third last year. The Gordon Elliott-trained horse is their best chance again this year at 12/1, with Fury Road (25/1), Coko Beach (33/1) and Milan Native (33/1) a few of their other possible representatives.